Market-gardeners are in great trouble. It appears that when the
Tithe Commutation Act was passed, hop lands and market gardens were very heavily taxed, and a clause was introduced providing that if those cultivations were abandoned, the tithe should be reduced. It was pointed out, however, that this was a mere bonus on the transfer of the gardens from one field to another, and it was consequently arranged that in the event of such transfer within the district; the new gardens should be taxed. The Judges, however, now decide that any new gardens are liable to the surcharge, and so the first intention of the Act, which was to prevent disputes, has been defeated. The owners always dispute, hoping to prove that the claim is con- trary to the spirit of the Act, and the tithe owners always claim, relying on the new decisions. The question will require an explanatory Act, and will probably lead to a stout fight between the Church and the landowners, which will be interesting to see.